Writing & Blogging

I Failed, And That’s Okay

At the end of December, I started talking about meeting my next writing goal. The plan was to write around 30,000 words between January 1, 2016 and January 21, 2016, which was when the spring semester started. But I didn’t meet that goal. In fact, I barely wrote 12,000 words. So today I’m talking about my goal, why I didn’t achieve it, and where I go from here.

I Failed, And That's Okay

Why did I set the goal in the first place? With grad school, my part-time job, and blogging, it can be hard to make significant progress in TLM. My plan was to (hopefully) finish it before the semester started so that I can spend the summer editing and hopefully publish it by the end of the year.

Why didn’t I achieve it? I had several bad pain days (like, a week or more out of my 3 weeks), and I was unable to write on most of them. This meant that I got off the habit of writing every day, and when I did write, even though I tried to catch up, it was nearly impossible with everything else going on in my life. And before I knew it, winter break was done and I hadn’t even made it halfway in my goal. While I agree that you have to make time to work on your goal in order to achieve it, that gets a bit more complicated when you bring chronic illness and pain into the issue.

Why is it okay that I failed? Because I’m not done trying, and because I tried my best when I could. When I was able to, I wrote, and every day that wasn’t a bad pain day, I wrote. Living with a highly active autoimmune disease means you cut yourself some slack and work hard whenever possible.

Where do I go from here? When I have the free time and the spoons, I’m writing. I have a bit of a weird March coming up – I only have 4 or 5 classes the entire month because of spring break and I go to a Catholic school so we have Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Monday off – so I’m going to try and write a lot then, too. I’m not done trying and I’m not done working. TLM will be finished.

And just a little tease for what I’ve been working on … (for more quotes, follow me on Instagram!)



What do you do when you fail to achieve your goals?

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  • Reply Brita Long

    I love that you can recognize success even amidst failure. I have Crohn’s Disease, so I know what you mean about needing the spoons. Sometimes the fact that I get dressed and eat real food is enough of an accomplishment!

    February 17, 2016 at 11:49 am
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Thank you! I try not to be too hard on myself, especially when I fail because of health stuff. Because you’re right – sometimes getting dressed and eating a real meal is a big deal.

      February 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm
  • Reply Darrian Duckworth

    I love this. And as an aspiring writer, really needed to read it. Every year I try NaNoWriMo and every year I fail. This year, though, I realized that I need to not limit myself to such a short time frame and expect greatness to happen. I need to plan! Coupled with anxiety and depression that both work on their own schedule, it can seem daunting to do even the smallest of tasks! Thanks for writing/sharing!

    Darrian // http://www.ohshiftyall.com

    February 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      I completely get that! In my personal experience, writing is pretty much the only thing I can do when my depression reappears. But like you said, you really need to not limit yourself to such a short time frame. There’s a reason NaNoWriMo has a reputation for being incredibly difficult! It’s because it is! Life happens and there’s only so much control you can wield. Keep trying. Keep writing. Keep pushing. You can do it! (Also, I don’t know if you’re doing this, but when writing the first draft of a novel, you really need to just get the first draft out. Editing is for later.) Good luck!

      February 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply Shellyyum

    You remind me that I have to get back to my goals and actually start writing. I know I failed initially in my goals, but I hope to get back on track soon.

    February 18, 2016 at 1:18 am
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      You can do it! It’s difficult, but not impossible.

      February 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply Caitlin Elisabeth

    this is so great- i get frustrated when my goals or something i want doesnt work. someday i loose 30 followers and i have no idea why. i just need to keep picking myself back up! xo

    February 18, 2016 at 10:16 am
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      You’re exactly right – just keep picking yourself back up. Allow yourself to be frustrated, but then get past it and keep working. You can do it!

      February 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm
  • Reply Emily Woodard

    I love this! It’s so important to reflect on your goals and why you did/didn’t achieve them. And I love how you mentioned that you’re not done trying! I’m right in the beginning stages of writing my first novel (eek!). Your blog is one of my favorite resources to consult!

    February 18, 2016 at 4:04 pm
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Oh that makes me so happy! I hope I can help. Writing your first novel is so scary but so exciting. The really important thing is to keep trying, so don’t beat yourself up if you have trouble reaching your goals. Good luck!

      February 23, 2016 at 1:16 pm

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